(05/19/2001)
By Bob Weaver

Seeking support for the long proposed Little Kanawha Parkway, a delegation of authority members traveled to Washington Thursday to try and place the project on the front burner. Senator Robert C. Byrd said there is no money available for major highway construction in West Virginia until 2003, despite announcements made by the Underwood administration. The Little Kanawha Parkway is not on the top five expressway list.

Calhoun's L-K Parkway Authority member Danny Law met with the representatives, in addition to Reta Kight from Gilmer, Delegate Brent Boggs from Braxton, Greg Smith from Gilmer and Jack Stewart from Wood.

Reta Kight, Chairperson of the Parkway Authority, said the delegation was able to impress upon the Congressional representatives the importance of developing the road through central West Virginia. "The members of the delegation who represent the five counties stressed that in order to grow... it is vital to have improved access," Kight said.

(L t0 R) Jack Stewart, Wood County, Danny Law, Calhoun County, Congressman Mollohan, Reta Kight, Gilmer County and Delegate Brent Boggs, Braxton County

Danny Law and Senator Robert C. Byrd

Chairman of Parkway Authority, Reta Kight presents plaque to Senator Byrd

She said the members all agree this can be accomplished by developing a four-lane highway from I-79 to I-77.

Although the Congressional delegation expressed their support for the project that would benefit 123,000 residents of the five county area, it appeared imperative that Governor Wise and Secretary VanKirk communicate the Parkway is high priority.

"When the priority is set and the state commitment for funding is met, assurances were made that strong support would be given," said Kight. She expressed her appreciation to Senators Byrd and Rockefeller and Congressman Mollohan for meeting with the group.

Kight said the group is seeking to have a meeting with Governor Wise.


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